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But let it be.—I am quickly ill, and well,
My precious queen, forbear ;
So Fulvia told me.
You'll heat my blood : no more.
And target.-Still he mends;
Ant. I'll leave you, lady.
Courteous lord, one word.
But that your royalty
'Tis sweating labour
. -I am quickly ill, and well,
So Antony loves.] i. e. Probably, “I am quickly ill or well, according as Antony loves me." First Cleopatra tells Charmian to cut her lace, then to “ let it - be," the necessity being at an end, in consequence, perhaps, of receiving some indication of love from Antony.
s And give true CREDENCE to his love,] There can be no hesitation in adopting here the excellent emendation of the corr. fo. 1632, viz. “ credence" for evidence : it suits both measure and meaning admirably; but the folios have evi. dence, and that has hitherto been the text, although it was necessary, for the sake of the verse, to pronounce “ evidence" ev'dence. Cleopatra was not to give eridence, but belief, to the affection of Antony.
6 Now, by my sword,] “My" is omitted the folio, 1623, but added in the folio, 1632
Eye well to you. Your honour calls
Let us go.—Come;
Rome. An Apartment in CÆSAR's House.
Enter OCTAVIUS CÆSAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.
I must not think, there are
Cæs. You are too indulgent. Let us grant, it is not
7 Sit LAUREL'D victory,] “ Laurel'd victory " is the emendation of the folio, 1632: that of 1623 has “ laurel victory.” In all probability the letter d bad dropped out in the press.
8 Our great competitor.] It is “ One great competitor" in the early editions ; but Johnson proposed to amend One to “Our,” and he was right, as is shown by the corr, fo. 1632.
9 Vouchsaf'd to think] Vouchsafe in the folio, 1623, which the folio, 1632, unsatisfactorily altered to "did vouchsafe."
Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
Enter a Messenger.
Ilere's more news.
I should have known no less.
1 No way excuse his foils,] Our reading is that of the folio, 1623, and of all the subsequent editions in that form. Malone and modern editors have altered ". foils " to soils, without sufficient necessity : the “foils" of Antony are his vices, his foibles (possibly Shakespeare's word, though, according to our dictionaries, not so old), which foil, or defeat, the exercise of his virtues. 2 Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Fall on him for't;] Here Mr. Singer, with some apparent unscrupulousness, adopts the emendation of the corr. fo. 1632 (“ Notes and Emendations,” p. 487), viz. “ Fall” for Call. The alteration is trifling, but it never, that we are aware of, was hinted at before 1853, and all editors, until Mr. Singer's time, printed “ Call on him for't." He was quite right to use" Fall," but surely not right to leave it to be supposed that it was his own unprompted emendation.
to the ports] “ To the fleets" in the corr. fo. 1632, with some plausibility; but though we may believe “ports” to have been caught from the line below, we refrain from alteration, inasmuch as ports” may be right. We are previously told that “ Pompey is strong at sea," and to say that the “ discontents' repair “ to the fleets,' is what might have been expected.
It hath been taught us, from the primal state,
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassails'. When thou once Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against, Though daintily brought up, with patience more Than savages could suffer: thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle, Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge; Yea, like the stag when snow the pasture sheets, The barks of trees thou browsed’st: on the Alps
* Comes lov'd by being lack’d.] The old reading is " fear'd by being lack’d," which must be wrong; and we accept the emendation of the corr. fo. 1632 with confidence, not lessened by the Shakespearian alliteration thus afforded. The meaning is too plain to need explanation.
5 Goes to, and back, LACKEYING the varying tide,] “Lackeying” was Theobald's change, for lacking of the old copies, and not for lashing, as he erroneously asserts: no folio has lashing. The corruption of lacking for “ lackeying” was very easy. Southern, in his folio, 1685, altered lacking to backing; but we much prefer Theobald's emendation.
- which they BAR] i.e. They plough, used metaphorically. See p. 139. ? Leave thy lascivious WassAILS.) The question here is, whether vassailes, as the word is printed in the folios, 1623 and 1632, be meant for “wassails," or merely for rassals. Either reading may be right; but vassal was not usually, though sometimes, spelt rassaile, and nothing is more likely than that the old compositor should use v for w. Cæsar has previously accused Antony of “ tippling with a slave," and "reeling the streets at noon," which countenances “wassails" as an old drinking term; and, in addition, we may state that vassailes is amended to “wassails" in the corr. fo. 1632.
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
'Tis pity of him.
Till which encounter,
Lep. Farewell, my lord. What you shall know, meantime, Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir, To let me be partaker. Cæs.
Doubt not, sir; I knew it for my bond. .
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and MARDIAN.
Cleo. Ha, ha!
You think of him too much.
8 Assemble we immediate council :] The first folio misprints me for “ an error corrected by the second folio.
9 Give me to drink MANDRAGORA.] A strong opiate. See “not poppy nor mandragora” in “Othello," this Vol. p. 74.